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Slavery & Public History: An International Symposium

The Gilder Lehrman Center's Eighth Annual International Conference
Thursday, November 2 at the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 53 Wall St.
Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4 at the Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.
November 2-4, 2006


Conference Schedule
Lodging and Travel Information


Logo--Slavery & Public History: An International Symposium
Many historic sites, museums, media, and other public history venues are reluctant to broach the subject of slavery in their programming and exhibits. Nonetheless, using innovative methods that are both thorough and respectful, curators and educators at historic sites and museums often have resources to teach this controversial topic in ways that those in the traditional classrooms do not. Reading the African presence back into the landscape of historic houses and other sites and can give new meaning to old artifacts, documents and environments, enabling public historians to engage old and new audiences in meaningful ways.

At our 8th Annual International Conference we plan to examine how historic sites, museums, and other public history venues have dealt with the topic of slavery and how public historians have used resources to teach this often difficult topic. Furthermore, we want to uncover what issues public historians across the world have faced when addressing slavery and how their work has been received by others. We also hope to address broader questions about if and why dealing with slavery through public history is important and why slavery is often such a difficult topic for public historians to represent.


Keynote Address: "The Challenge of Interpreting Slavery in American Museums"

Given by Lonnie G. Bunch III
Director of the Smithsonian Institutionís National Museum of African-American History and Culture


Sessions Include:

  • The Politics of Remembering and Representing Slavery in International Comparison
  • Remembering the Slave Trade in Europe: Memorials and Museums
  • West Africa: Slave Trade Tourism and the Problem of Public History in Post-Colonial Societies
  • Public Remembrance of Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Caribbean
  • Comparative Museums, Historic Sites, and Exhibitions in the US: Perils and Promises
  • Film, Artistic Representation, and the Public History of Slavery


Conference Participants

  • Peter Almond, Beacon Pictures/The Forever Free Project
  • Orlando Bagwell, The Ford Foundation
  • David W. Blight, Yale University
  • Katrina Browne, Ebb Pod Productions
  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, National Museum of African-American History and Culture
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud, Independent Artist and Author
  • Jane Clark Chermayeff, Jane Clark Chermayeff & Associates
  • Laurent Dubois, Michigan State University
  • Paulla Ebron, Stanford University
  • Cheryl Finley, Cornell University
  • John E. Fleming, Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Gillian Forrester, Yale Center for British Art
  • Michel Giraud, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Charlie Haffner, Freetong Players International Theatre Group
  • Mari Hareide, Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO
  • James Oliver Horton, The George Washington University
  • Jean Howson, The RBA Group, African Burial Ground Project
  • Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace, Boston College
  • Gert Oostindie, KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies at Leiden
  • Joseph Opala, James Madison University
  • Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop
  • Tony Tibbles, National Museums Liverpool
  • John Michael Vlach, The George Washington University
  • James Walvin, University of York
  • Glenn Willemsen, The National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and Its Legacy (NiNsee)
  • Kevin Willmott, University of Kansas


Registration Information

Register online through Yale Conference Services
Please register by October 25, 2006


Conference Fees

Non-Yale Full Conference Registration$30.00
Non-Yale Friday Only Registration$20.00
Non-Yale Saturday Only Registration$20.00
Yale Affiliate (current student, staff)No Charge
Film ScreeningsNo Charge

Continuing Education Units

For a fee of $5, credit for up to 1.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be awarded to public high school teachers who attend the conference. Please inquire about receiving CEU credits at the conference registration table.

For questions regarding registration contact Yale Conference Services at 203-432-0465 or confserv@yale.edu

For questions regarding the program, contact the Gilder Lehrman Center at 203-432-3339 or gilder.lehrman.center@yale.edu